Wed, Jan 01, 2020 - Page 12 News List

Real-estate brokers say first-time home buyers boosting housing transactions

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s major real-estate brokers reported a concrete pickup in housing transactions last month from the same period a year earlier, driven mainly by demand among first-time home buyers.

The presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 11 appear to have had little impact, as the market is upbeat about a boost from capital inflows, analysts said.

Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), the only listed real-estate broker in Taiwan, said in a report that property deals nationwide last month rose more than 10 percent from a year earlier, supported by demand for small and relatively affordable apartments priced between NT$7 million and NT$20 million (US$232,512 and US$664,319).

Sinyi research manager Tseng Ching-der (曾進德) attributed the improvement to first-time home buyers, who tend to favor such products and switch to larger apartments later in life when their family and household income grow.

Transactions in Taipei last month rose 17 percent year-on-year and added 25 percent in New Taipei City, Sinyi data showed.

Housing deals posted the fastest increase of 33 percent in Taichung and grew 16 percent in Tainan, the broker said.

However, transactions in Taoyuan declined 3 percent and they fell 8 percent in Kaohsiung, it said.

Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), the nation’s largest real-estate broker by number of offices, saw its transactions increase by 19 percent, even though buying interest held steady.

Housing deals rose 24 percent in Taipei, 18 percent in New Taipei City and 32 percent in Taoyuan, Evertrust said, citing internal data.

Taichung reported a 30 percent increase and Tainan posted growth of 36 percent, it said, adding that Kaohsiung bucked the trend with a 2 percent retreat.

“The data was reflective of a recovery that is gaining steam,” Evertrust Rehouse spokesman Jay Hsieh (謝志傑) said.

Reports of Taiwanese firms moving back from China are encouraging, boosting confidence about property prices, Hsieh said.

Overall housing transactions last year could challenge 300,000 units for the first time since 2016, when policymakers introduced a series of measures to cool the property market, Evertrust said.

However, Hsieh warned against inflexible pricing by sellers, saying that the recovery is modest and concessions could facilitate transactions.

Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) observed a similar trend, saying that housing transactions last month grew 8.1 percent from a year earlier, but prices weakened 2.7 percent annually.

Taichung outperformed with a 15.2 percent increase in deals, followed by New Taipei City with a 14.1 percent pickup and Hsinchu County with a 13.6 percent gain, it said.

Taichung appears to be the biggest beneficiary of public construction to improve infrastructure in central Taiwan, the broker said.

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